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executable code

Software in a form that can be run in the computer. It typically refers to machine language, which is the set of native instructions the computer carries out in hardware. Executable files in the DOS/Windows world use .EXE and .COM file extensions, while executable files in Unix and Mac do not require specific extensions. They are identified by their file structure.

Software and Hardware to Execute
Executable code may also refer to programs written in interpreted languages that require additional software to actually execute. Some interpreted languages remain in their source code form, such as JavaScript and VBScript, while others are compiled into an intermediate language, such as Java and Visual Basic. Interpreted languages require software runtime engines to convert the program into executable instructions for a particular CPU family that the hardware executes. See machine language, linker, compiler, intermediate language, x86 and Java Virtual Machine.



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